Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Reasons To Be Cheerful 2008
Part 3: We're Walkin' and We're Tawkin', Bring on the Election Process
Being a member of a very politically active union the IUPAT (International Union of Painters and Allied Trades) I knew I had a heavy duty political year in front of me, but I was caught by surprise when the call came from on high last Wednesday that assigning me and my fellow staff members from CT and RI to head up to Alaska, I mean New Hampshire, on the Saturday before the primary. Our organization, for the first time, had taken a poll of the more than 160,000 members about a Presidential choice, and out of the 30,000 members (sad, but true) that responded Hillary Clinton won a clear cut victory, not counting the 17% of IUPAT union men and women that placed their vote for a Republican. So there we were early Saturday AM, hitting the snowy environs of New Hampshire with members of our Locals also in tow. We did the old door-to-door canvas thang, and my team wound up in a largely upscale neighborhood outside of Brentwood, walking down long, curved, icy driveways to knock on the doors of some very nice New Hampshire digs, largely irritating and talking to people who ALL seemed to be between 40-55, before heading to a late afternoon rally in Manchester featuring Billy the C as the keynote speaker. Observations: 1) There were a whole lot of kids playing outdoors in New Hampshire, 2) New Hampshire yuppies appear to be dog people, as there were plenty of big doggies yipping and drooling behind electric fences, 3) The New Hampshirites were uniformly polite despite thier thinny masked irritation, and mostly willing to inform us canvassers of which candidate they we’re voting for, or to at least pop out of the front door and say “undecided” 4) It was indeed a kick to be on Main Street, USA in Manchester and be part of the screaming-mimi circus of political supporters lining the lengthy street on nearly every corner, waving signs and whooping it up all in the name of the grand old American political process. Yep, after last night’s Hillary victory, I’ve girded my loins in preparation for the next call, wondering whose front yard I’ll be tramping through, in what city, and in the long run, for what candidate. Because, as my union and all unions, hang on to dear life under the crushing oppression of the current administration, which is more virulently anti-union than either of those under Teflon Ronnie or Daddy Bush, when the final bell rings, we’ll be out there fighting in November in Ohio or Florida or another hotspot, ringing doorbells and manning the phones for the Last Dem Standing, and now I’m already primed and ready to rock.